Statue of McMahon unveiled to celebrate netball legacy

Sharelle McMahon and others at the unveiling of her statue at John Cain Arena

Four-time Commonwealth Games medallist and two-time gold medallist Sharelle McMahon has been honoured with the unveiling of a bronze statue at John Cain Arena in Melbourne. 

Flagbearer at the opening ceremony of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, the first athlete from a team sport selected to the position, McMahon’s legacy and contribution to netball, both on and off the court, has now been immortalised. 

Beyond her success at the Commonwealth Games, she played more than 100 games for the Australian Diamonds following her debut in 1998, captaining her country on 12 occasions and winning two World Cups (1999 and 2007). 

She was also an integral member of the Melbourne Phoenix and Vixens, playing over 200 games and winning six premierships during that time, and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Following her retirement from the sport in 2013, McMahon moved into coaching, taking on a role for the Melbourne Vixens in 2014 before being elevated to assistant coach in 2019, while she has now joined Cricket Victoria as Head of Female Court. 

“I have spent many times out on court here, amazing memories of playing netball and representing not only our state but Australia too. John Cain Arena will always be a venue that’s really close to my heart,” McMahon said.  

“Two years ago this idea was brought to life by Rosie [King OAM, former Netball Victoria CEO] and her team at Netball Victoria, and with passion and absolute drive here we are two years later, standing here with the statue behind us.” 

Sharelle McMahon carrying the flag at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
Sharelle McMahon carrying the flag at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

McMahon is just the fifth sportswoman – and the first Victorian-born, hailing from Bamawm in the state’s north – to receive the honour in Victoria, joining Olympians Betty Cuthbert AC, MBE, Shirley Strickland AO, MBE and Nova Peris OAM and AFLW star Tayla Harris. 

McMahon’s statue was unveiled on International Women’s Day, following a campaign launched by Netball Victoria in 2021 calling for greater recognition of female sporting icons in our community. 

Produced by renowned sculpture artists Gillie and Marc, the statue’s creation was supported by the Victorian Government’s Celebrating Female Sporting Icons initiative and the Statues for Equality project, a global movement working to balance gender and racial representation in public statues. 

Image: With thanks to Netball Victoria.



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